On a trip to Morocco, this simple dish was served as a starter with other small salads and dips. Orange-flower water is very popular in the colourful cuisine of the Middle East and appears in many dishes, savoury as well as sweet. The tiny quantity used here gives this dish an exotic flavour, but if you cannot find it, or do not wish to use it, leave it out! I prefer to use the pebbly-leafed wintermint here rather than spearmint.
2 carrots, finely sliced
1 orange, peeled
juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
orange-flower water (optional)
8 mint leaves, finely sliced
sprigs of mint, to serve
Put the carrot into a saucepan and barely cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes only. Drain, then drop the carrot into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Cut the orange into thin rounds, then cut each round into quarters. Add the orange pieces, lemon juice, a shake of chilli flakes, the oil, a few drops of orange-flower water and the mint leaves to the bowl. Mix well and add salt to taste.
This salad is best if allowed to cool to room temperature before serving. Decorate with sprigs of fresh mint.